Public communication and social security delivery in Tanzania

Maduga, Frank (2015) Public communication and social security delivery in Tanzania. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

[thumbnail of Frank_Maduga_Final_Thesis_(May_2015).pdf]
Frank_Maduga_Final_Thesis_(May_2015).pdf - Submitted Version

Download (2MB) | Preview


Less than 30 per cent of the world’s population is covered by some form of modern social security scheme. In the African continent the coverage in some places is well below 10% of the population. Tanzania and its East African neighbours Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are no exception. This research explores the factors that restrict the widening of social security coverage in Tanzania and discusses whether or not lack of effective communication is a contributing factor.
In Tanzania, traditionally societies are known to have practiced some form of social insurance within specific communities including tribe, clan, and extended family. This study examines whether there has been a shift of attitudes from traditional social security towards modern social insurance arrangements It also explores the types of communication that are taking place and suggests ways in which such communication can be improved for more effective results. Furthermore the study evaluates awareness and level of understanding of the public regarding modern social security schemes. It measures acceptability and willingness of people to learn about the schemes and it explores the factors that hinder participation. Grunig J. (1992) and other authors from the developed world have suggested concepts of excellent communication including two way asymmetrical and symmetrical approaches. This study looks at the application of these approaches in Tanzania.
Surveys were conducted in nine regions involving workers from both formal employment and the informal sector: fishing, mining, farming, livestock keeping, small scale business and other self-employed personnel. The need to investigate the informal sector comes from the fact that more than 80% of the active labour force make their living through such ventures. Finalist students from A level secondary schools and teacher training colleges were investigated as these are just about to enter the employment market and could share their knowledge and experience as dependents.
Interviews were conducted with stakeholders within the insurance industry itself including service provider institutions in Tanzania, the retirees, academicians, aged group associations, the unemployed, communication practitioners and members of the public. These were recorded and for those who did not wish to be recorded, notes were taken. For quantitative data SPSS and STATA software were utilized while NVivo and ATLAS were deployed as tools for qualitative data analysis. More qualitative data were obtained through secondary sources and interviews conducted in Burundi and Uganda. The aim was to establish if there were any similarities in social security coverage and its communication aspects with cross border neighbours.
Modern communication theory (Grunig and Hunt, 1984) emphasizes a two-way rather than a one-way relationship between an organisation and its stakeholders. The subject of symmetrical and asymmetrical communication is addressed with regard to establishing the type of communication taking place and suitability of the same. Other theories related to effective communication are examined. These include diffusion of innovation theory and mass communication. The practices of social security schemes in Tanzania appear to show that there is a need to apply a tailor made communication approach to fit local realities.
The study establishes that modern life challenges coupled with the effects of globalisation have eroded the value and practicability of traditional social security. Hence, societies have sought for an alternative solution but most people do not look at modern social security providers as their way forward. The survey has established that only about 20% of the population accepts modern social security systems. Moreover the communication approaches used by the main service providers are mainly tactical as they do not go deep enough to address the information needs. In addition, the level of interaction required between the service providers and their potential clients is insufficient. Social security institutions carry the image of being huge financial institutions, donating and participating in a wide range of social activities. On the contrary, however, they do not seem to play an active part in assisting their contributors who have lost employment. In this regard the institutions fail to demonstrate care beyond paying the basic entitlement.
The present research found a lack of savings culture, a low degree of risk appreciation, and the common belief that when faced with social and economic contingencies, society in general, family members, or one’s own assets would come to the rescue. Most of these shortfalls could be addressed with the application of effective communication strategies including conduct of a public communication campaign that includes a special national campaign. The findings have also established that low income, fragmentation of the schemes, unattractive benefit packaging, unfriendly restrictions and corruption have had an impact on the low coverage. Finally, there are suggestions regarding the need to adopt a more suitable communication frame work that could be applied in addressing the deficiencies uncovered during the study. This should make a substantial difference.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Social sciences
Depositing User: Marzena Dybkowska
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2015 11:24
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:18


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item